Controlling Pests in Your Restaurant
Food contamination, product degradation, and structural damage caused by pests are serious problems for any restaurant. Pests constitute a major food safety problem because they can cause both physical and biological food risks. They could contract foodborne diseases and transfer them to others quickly.
Common pests that infest restaurants
– Cockroaches and spiders
– Rodents, e.g., rats and mice
– Stored product pests such as moths, beetles, weevils…
– Stinging pests e.g., wasps
A mouse or cockroach dining with customers in your service area is the last thing you want your guests to see in your restaurant. A health inspector may even+ conclude that your restaurant has turned into a welcoming habitat for pests if they notice signs of them, which is a clear violation of health regulations. Pest reports may have far-reaching consequences for your food industry. You can’t afford not to deal with them acutely. It is a requirement for a HACCP plan that every food service establishment have an effective pest management plan.
Why do eateries get infested by pests?
Apparently, pests enjoy the food you prepare for your customers. They are aiming for the same meal that you create and give to customers. Pests are likely to congregate in an unclean, poorly maintained kitchen in a building with plenty of food and water.
The following are some factors that are most likely luring pests to your food facility:
· Poorly managed food waste
Pests are especially drawn to unclean food spills, unattended garbage cans with food organic matter, and stagnant water. Fruit flies and cockroaches, for example, can swiftly infest food when it is left unattended.
· Not enough personal hygiene.
Pests can enter the kitchen through food handlers. Handwashing, putting on hair restraints, and regular cleaning are just a few examples of personal hygiene issues that need to be addressed right away.
· Congested spaces
You should book a cleaning appointment for a piece of equipment even if you don’t use it frequently. Otherwise, discard it to create more open space. The majority of machines we use may contain hard-to-reach places where food might become lodged and attract small bugs. Plan routine cleaning of furniture like cupboards, tables, and chairs to prevent insects from gathering that could harm the items.
· There’s an open door somewhere
The external environment is where pests naturally come from. Your ceiling or walls may have microscopic cracks that mice, rats, birds, and cockroaches can enter through. Having unsealed ceiling access sites can lead to a multitude of rodent problems as well. Some pests are capable of digging their own entrances and, over time, causing significant harm. Sealing entry points is a necessary part of routine inspections to stop pests from entering uninvited.
Likely pest hotspot in your restaurant
The possibility of creating foodborne illnesses and other harmful diseases from this food safety issue can be decreased by knowing and covering the regions most prone to infestations.
– Food storage area
Pests of all kinds are drawn to the availability of food in your commercial kitchen storage area. Check the storage space’s corners frequently for cockroaches and other insects that might be hiding there.
– Food waste and trash
To lessen the chance of attracting insects and rodents, all garbage cans and other containers for food waste must have suitable lids. Additionally, segregate your waste properly to make sorting and disposal simpler.
– Floor drains
Different species of flies are drawn to floor drains, especially if they are not kept clean. Other insects may use them as a means of transportation.
– Furniture and fixtures
This is a popular location for older restaurants. Wood-boring pests may frequently reside in tables, cabinets, and light fixtures. Dead insects are frequently observed on light guards because they are drawn to the light. Keep furnishings and light guards clean on a regular basis
– Delivered supplies
In addition to being delivered refrigerated, food supplies must also be hygienic. Although delivery trucks for food are frequently ignored, they have the potential to transport pests in with the crates of fresh food.
Signs of a pest infestation
– Animal excrement (e.g., rats, birds, and lizards)
– Damaged, soiled food packaging and products
– Loose food crumbs
– Animal footprint
– Webs and nesting evidence
– Pest bodies or parts, as well as skin shedding
– Foul odor (e.g., strong smell of ammonia)
– Unusual noise, typically in the ceilings
What to do if you think there is a pest infestation in your restaurant
You should get in touch with a local pest control company like Gecko Pest Control if you think there might be an infestation. They can help develop an integrated pest management system for your business. For a food service firm to build a thorough food safety plan, an efficient pest management program is thought to be a crucial need.
- All overt indications of a potential infestation must be noted by your staff and the information given to the commercial pest control services. Then, to make sure that pests are dealt with, a clean-up and preventive maintenance must be scheduled.
- During the expert pest control service operation, pay attentive attention. Assign a worker to check the procedure both before and after pest treatment. To deal with upcoming pest control difficulties, make sure all advice and regulations provided by the control officer are followed.
- Educate and train your staff on the importance and significance of pest control and how to keep the restaurant as pest free as possible. Members of staff are more inclined to support your attempt to ward off pests if they are aware of the potential effects of an infestation on the business.
- Abide by the Food Hygiene Laws. An infestation should be preventable if you are abiding by the Food Hygiene rules. Follow the laid down regulations governing food safety and take precautions to avoid cross-contamination. Basically, keep everything tidy, keep and eye on everything and make sure that every employee has received necessary training on safe food storage.